Updated: Dec 22, 2018
There is a massive shift that happens when you find out you're pregnant for the first time. One moment, your life is your own and the next there is this strange person depending on you for every single thing to survive. The obligation to nurture and care for your baby is a big one. It can take most of your mental & physical energy just to make sure you're eating the right food, using the right soap, and sleeping in the right position so as not to disturb the life growing mysteriously inside of you. So with all this time spent thinking about the baby's well-being, there's often no energy left to think about your own well-being.
Now, hear me out. Maybe you think the whole idea of "self care" is frivolous--a trendy word made up to sell yoga retreats and spa certificates. The thing is, self-care isn't just about surface level actions, it's a total mindset shift. In order to really practice self care, you have to move from putting everyone else's needs above your own, to believing your well-being is essential to the people who rely on you.
If you can adopt that mindset in pregnancy, you will be so far ahead of the game once your baby is here. Asking your partner to cook dinner and watch baby so you can take a long shower, or go out for a coffee might feel selfish. Honestly, being socialized as a woman teaches us that our needs can only matter once everyone else's are taken care of. But it's not selfish to care for yourself--it is an act of love. You care for yourself because you love your baby and you want to be fully present for the time you spend together. You care for your mind and your body so you can be a loving parent and compassionate partner for years and years to come. Each day you prioritize your needs is a gift to those who love you. Don't hold back.
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